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Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Magic Number

After the Matuko Point afternoon ride eye-opener (that I'm not used to cycling long distances anymore), I've been doing some late afternoon-early evening training sessions in U.P. Diliman to put some kilometers in my legs. I usually ride the main oval, which is a little bit more than two kilometers, but when I do get bored I ride the outer perimeter, which adds two more kilometers to the loop. I do about 20 to 25 kilometers before I call it a day.

Spinning is quite a humbling experience if you're used to pedaling at faster speeds. The magic number I'm trying to maintain is 90 revolutions per minute at all times, regardless if it's an incline, a descent or a flat. That means that there are instances when I have to consciously get out of gear mashing (70 to 80 rpm) and shift to a lower gear to spin. When fatigue sets in, it even got to a point when my speed was only 23 kilometers per hour.

But this is OK. I know it's going to pay off sooner or later. I just hope it kicks in this Saturday, as we're going to ride the full EBD course. That's 67 kilometers of suffering, and from what I know from the Batangas Mountain Bikers, it's definitely not flat.

So why spin? Basically you're using the same amount of work if you're pedaling a heavy gear at a low rpm as with a lighter gear at a higher rpm. The advantage with spinning is you don't put too much strain on your leg muscles compared to when you're gear mashing. That means that your legs will be fresher and will last longer.

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